The festival was a huge success and we received a number of wonderful emails from festival guests/patrons who enjoyed learning about the history of coastal Georgia. The McIntosh County Shouters (above) demonstrated the ring shout while the narrator, Bettye Ector, told the stories behind the songs they “shouted”.
The McIntosh County Shouters, Sea Island Singers, Gospel Messengers, and Oak Grove Youth Praise Group captivated audiences of all ages for the two-day festival.
The Sea Island Singers performed two wonderful performances and told stories about their ancestors’ lives, sang traditional Gullah Geechee songs. Truly an inspirational weekend of Gullah Geechee performances and a rare treat for anyone interested in the humanities, arts, culture, and history of coastal Georgia. Many thanks to Target and Georgia Council for the Arts for their support of this festival.
Denise White Field exhibited Gullah Geechee artifacts that added yet another interesting layer to the festival. Included in her exhibit was a letter in which a slave girl was given as a wedding gift to a couple, and shackles from the middle voyage that were used on the last slave ship to arrive on Jekyll Island.
The children are learning songs and dances and performed for the crowd. Everyone loves it when children perform. Younger members of the Quimby family are part of this group, carrying on a tradition the family has been doing for generations–teaching people about the history of coastal Georgia.
The Gospel Messengers, led by Dennis Wiley, entertained the crowd with lively Gospel music. In years past, there used to be more performances with Gullah Geechee on St. Simons Island, a place that is rich in Gullah Geechee culture. It is a special treat to be able to see them nowadays. If you are interested in having any of these groups performing for a corporate or special event, email ShoutForFreedom@bellsouth.net.